Germany launches investigation into Amazons marketplace

Amazon GermanyGermany has opened an investigation against Amazon, looking at the eCommerce giant’s ‘business and practices’ toward third-party sellers on

Germany’s competition regulator, the Bundeskartellamt, is investigating areas where Amazon may be disadvantaging sellers – including with its rules on product reviews, a lack of transparency when terminating and blocking sellers’ accounts, withholding or delaying payment, and more.

Proceedings were started on the back of complaints from ‘numerous’ sellers about Amazon’s business practice in the country.

“Amazon is the largest online retailer and operates by far the largest online marketplace in Germany,” said Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt. “Many retailers and manufacturers depend on the reach of Amazon’s marketplace for their online sales. Amazon functions as a kind of ‘gatekeeper’ for customers. Its double role as the largest retailer and largest marketplace has the potential to hinder other sellers on its platform. Because of the many complaints we have received we will examine whether Amazon is abusing its market position to the detriment of sellers active on its marketplace. We will scrutinise its terms of business and practices towards sellers.”

The European Commission is currently conducting a similar investigation into Amazon’s business practices. The German and the European Commission investigations will supplement one another.